New Jersey Senate passes family leave insurance bill


After more than a decade of fierce opposition split largely along party lines, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill yesterday to provide state workers with partial wage replacement for up to six weeks of family and medical leave. Governor Jon Corzine has promised to sign the bill, which was passed by the state Assembly on March 14, making New Jersey the third state in the nation to enact paid leave legislation (California was the first, with Washington State following suit in 2007). The legislation was sponsored and tirelessly championed by State Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) with grassroots support from a broad coalition of social justice, labor, and family & caregiver advocacy organizations, including New Jersey Citizen Action, ACORN, NOW NJ, National Family Caregivers Association, Mothers & More, and MomsRising. The final version of the bill passed by a 21-15 vote.

The Family Leave Insurance Act will be funded by a mandatory payroll contribution from workers (average estimated cost to employees will be $33/year), and will provide up to two-thirds of weekly pay to a maximum payment of $524 a week. Family Leave Insurance funds will be administered through New Jersey's existing Temporary Disability Insurance program.

Congratulations to MMO's hard-working friends at NOW NJ, particularly Laurie Pettine, former chair of the NOW Mothers & Caregivers Economic Rights Committee, and NOW NJ President Maretta Short, who gave personal testimony in support of the bill. Kudos also to members of NJ chapters of Mothers & More who mobilized to support the legislation, and to leaders of MomsRising for organizing an email letter-writing campaign and sending their Power-of-ONEsie display to New Jersey supporters.

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This page contains a single entry by jstadtman published on April 8, 2008 2:37 PM.

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